Until the middle of 2012, The B Bar raised one of the largest herds of Suffolk Punch Draft Horses in North America. Our involvement was over the span of two decades.
Our long time conservation herd was among the last surviving Suffolk Punch, a breed that originated more than two centuries ago in eastern (Norfolk and Suffolk counties) England. The American Suffolk Horse Association estimates that only 1,350 Suffolk Punch exist in the world today (800-1,200 in North America, 150 in England).
There is good reason to conserve and promote the Suffolk Punch. Originally and continuously bred for work, strength and willingness, their gentle disposition and strong conformation make them an ideal horse for farm and ranch work. The average Suffolk Punch is 16.1 hands and weighs between 1,400 and 2,100 pounds at maturity. Their temperament affords easy handling and their strength puts them among the most powerful of horses.
Our Suffolk Punch horses worked year-round on the ranch. During winter, daily tasks included transporting feed to the rest of the herd with wagon or sleigh. In the spring, teams were utilized to drag and harrow meadows and spread manure. Come summer, the horses proved invaluable in cutting, raking and baling approximately 100 tons of hay. They were also utilized for selective logging of timber for firewood, fencing material and ranch building projects, as well as to provide our guests picturesque wagon and sleigh rides through the Basin. In addition to providing valuable service, these activities ensured the horses become familiar and at ease with every piece of equipment and every type of work available.
Our breeding program focused on accentuating the Suffolk Punch's power, stamina, size and sociability. We had a high quality herd of broodmares selected for bloodline suitability and diversity who were serviced by one of our resident stallions.
We are grateful to have had the opportunity to help preserve the Suffolk Punch and to promote their use as the finest working draft horse